NEW YORK — According to Young Jeezy, New York is his second home. The Atlanta-based rapper looked quite comfortable onstage Monday night at the Highline Ballroom for a special TM101: Live! show. The performance was in honor of the sixth anniversary of his platinum-selling debut album, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101. Jeezy ran through other selections from his catalog of commercial and street hits, too, while bringing out a number of special, crowd-hyping guests, including Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Doors to the show didn't open until 9 p.m., and those on a line that stretched down 16th Street who made it past the logjam at the front door and into the venue were greeted by Funkmaster Flex of Hot 97 (the station and The Source magazine were among the event's sponsors), warming up the crowd with a DJ set. Flex spun a number of favorites, including Jay-Z and Kanye West's (ahem, the Throne's) "Otis" single, which he played at least a couple of times while boisterously expressing his fondness for the tune.
As Flex's set went on, the crowd swelled, including the VIP section upstairs, where artists like Royce Da 5'9" and Bun B were in attendance.
Jeezy's band, most dressed in dark suits and fitted baseball caps, finally stepped onstage a little before 11:30 p.m. The "favorite rapper's favorite rapper" hit the stage dressed in all black and wearing sunglasses, with a few dazzling, diamond-encrusted chains around his neck. He kicked off his set with the rousing "Standing Ovation" from his debut album. Most of the crowd rapped along with Jeezy word for word and did so throughout the nearly two dozen songs he would perform as the night went on.
After the opener, Jeezy segued into "Let's Get It/ Sky's the Limit" and "Go Crazy," both from his debut. The latter had already been met with an enthusiastic response as soon as its opening notes were heard. But the crowd reached a fever pitch when an unannounced Jay-Z coolly hit the stage to perform his verse as well. After Hova left the stage, Jeezy went into "Trap Star" and afterwards asked the crowd, "NYC, is y'all riding with me tonight?" The band then went into "Put On," from the trap star's third album, The Recession. Kanye West then strode to the stage, sending the crowd into another frenzy as he performed his verse from the song. "I told y'all we just getting started," said Jeezy after Yeezy exited the stage.
The Def Jam rapper then performed more fan favorites from his debut, including "Bottom of the Map," "Bang" and "Get Ya Mind Right," before the next guest, Bun B, came on to perform "Trap or Die." Soon after the UGK legend's cameo, the band left the stage and Jeezy performed some of his notable remix verses, including Rocko's "Umma Do Me" and recent G-Unit signee Shawty Lo's "Dey Know Remix."
The next guest to hit the stage was Fabolous, who performed "Flexin" from Jeezy's The Real Is Back mixtape from earlier this year. The Brooklyn rapper was then given time to perform his own hit "You Be Killin' Em," to the crowd's delight. He then went into another joint cut with Jeezy called "Rollin' " before leaving the stage for good.
After demonstrating his crowd-control skills by kicking an a cappella version of "Win" from the Real Is Back mixtape, Jeezy gave up the stage up to the LOX. The native NYC rappers got the crowd amped, performing a medley of their hits including Sheek Louch's "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye," Styles P's "I Get High" and Jadakiss' "We Gone Make It."
The show hit a lull upon Jeezy's return with "Tear It Up," about as close to a slow jam as you'll get, before the energy inside the Highline Ballroom rose again with "Don't Get Caught." He then took it to his sophomore album, The Inspiration, and performed the R. Kelly-assisted "Go Getta" before returning to his debut with the Akon-aided "Soul Survivor."
With the show approaching its close, Jeezy declared that his much-delayed fourth album, Thug Motivation 103, is on the way before launching into "Lose My Mind," one of said project's first singles. Jeezy closed the show with "I Luv It," the first single from his Inspiration album. But before leaving the stage to a thunderous ovation, Jeezy made sure to tell the crowd, which was now beginning to head to the exits, that he had just gotten word that TM 103 will be in stores September 20.